Vette Vues Magazine is excited to begin the year-long celebration of its golden anniversary. What started with one man, a typewriter, and a mimeograph machine, is now starting its 50th year in business! We welcome our readers to submit their comments and testimonials to Vette Vues Magazine. We will post them here and share some of them each month over the next year in the magazine.
You may submit your comments or testimonials to us online or by email:
Looking for a reason to subscribe to Vette Vues Magazine? Here are several…
Comments and Testimonials:
From Jim Prather’s daughter, Mendal (Mendy) Prather-Hyde: Dad bought a mimeograph machine from a friend on his mail route for $10.00 and borrowed a typewriter from his brother-in-law, Nick, using it to type up the first five issues. He finally bought his own typewriter when he realized Vette Vues was probably going to be successful.
Vette Vues and I essentially grew up together since we are about the same age. My earliest memories are of my Dad working in his office in our basement, cranking out the Vette Vues newsletter on an old-fashioned manual printing press. As we both got a little older, I recall riding cross country in an early 1970’s Corvette on the way to a car show out west – crawling into the little compartment behind the seats to play and resting with my head in the floorboard and my feet up in my Mom’s face. (It’s a wonder we “70’s kids” survived!) Later on, I have fond memories of going to Corvettes at Carlisle and Bloomington Gold – usually with my childhood best friend, Rachel, in tow. We always enjoyed looking at all the cool cars! I especially looked forward to the yearly NCRS meet at Cypress Gardens, Florida, because that meant spending time with “Uncle Bill & Aunt Pat” Locke. My favorite memory is the Vette Vues Cruise to Alaska we all took – quite the adventure! Because of my Dad and Vette Vues, I have many fond memories of family trips spent at Corvette meets and shows all across the country and the pleasure of getting to know a lot of really special people.
From Bill Locke, Vette Vues Associate Editor Emeritus: Congratulations to Jim and Shelby Prather and Bill and Bonnie Wolf for 50 years of continuous monthly issues of Vette Vues Magazine. That’s no small task!
My involvement with Vette Vues Magazine started in the mid-’70s by meeting Jim at a swap meet in the Tampa area. We visited about Corvettes, and Jim asked me if I could answer a couple of letters he had received from readers. I agreed, and we decided to publish the letters and replies in a monthly column entitled Questions & Comments. We also presented monthly new product reviews and a quiz called Fiberglass Facts. I attended many events with Jim, now with the position of Associate Editor. Vette Vues covered all the annual shows. Jim and I attended many special Corvette events together – the GM Long Lead Press Previews and the Indianapolis 500 races when Corvette was selected as the Official Pace Car. All in all, a great relationship of more than 25 years, and a lot of fun! Through his vision, Jim had turned a hobby into a successful business. Each month, thousands of subscribers worldwide looked forward to the new issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Jim’s Corvettes were special as well: his Rally Red 1967 Coupe, and his Grand Sport replica built from a 1963 donor car with a 1996 LT4 driveline, was one of the very best. Jim also enjoyed a Red/Red 1996 LT4 Coupe. Jim Prather is a true Corvette enthusiast and has done so much for all of us who enjoy Corvettes! Thanks, Jim!
From Bill Landis, Vette Vues Model Scene Editor: 50 Years! Wow, quite a while for people and magazines. My involvement with Vette Vues Magazine started in mid-1974, so “my” fiftieth anniversary still has a few years to go (2024).
The many people met, and the wonderful activities that have happened as a result of my association with Vette Vues have far exceeded anything I could have ever imagined.
Thank you, Jim and Shelby and Bill and Bonnie, for making a large part of my life and so many others so enjoyable!
From Wayne Ellwood, Journalist, and Historian: I first ran across VETTE VUES magazine in the mid-70s, shortly after I bought my first Corvette. Information on our new Corvettes was in high demand with only a few magazines specializing in this area. VETTE VUES managed to place themselves in something of a sweet spot. Just like the growth in new clubs and councils, VETTE VUES claimed its turf by featuring club-level activities…events, items for sale, and (even) models. These latter weren’t particularly high on the list of the bigger commercial magazines, but they were popular with many owners. Remember, most of us were baby boomers…. new to the market and just barely out of the “toy” stage in our own lives. As time progressed, I was a ‘sometimes’ subscriber but never out of the game. As the times changed, VETTE VUES kept pace with new offerings from General Motors and a range of merchandisers. The biggest challenge was the digital age. It started with print quality and then moved on to the new ways to access information. I don’t think that anyone regrets the old cut-and-paste style of layout, but the evolution of the internet definitely proved a challenge. As I look at VETTE VUES today, on its 50th anniversary, I think it has brought its ‘A’ game to the table. New writers, new angles on old stories, and, yes, the old buy-and-sell and club events listings are still there. Congratulations on standing up to a very competitive 50 years, and best wishes for the future.
From Wayne Scraba, Technical Journalist: I hitched a ride with Vette Vues way back in the early eighties. As the story goes, in 1981 or so, I hatched a plan to sell my race cars and move on to Corvettes. An acquaintance told me I absolutely had to subscribe to this little small format magazine. He lent me a copy to peruse. And what I discovered was this pocket-size “cult” publication jam-packed with features, tech information, classifieds, and contacts. It was truly a must-have. I mailed my subscription check the very next day.
A few years later, I found myself working for Super Stock & Drag Illustrated magazine. It certainly wasn’t a full-time or infallibly reliable gig, so I looked around for more opportunities. Jim Prather provided me with that opportunity, and for the most part, I’ve contributed to Vette Vues ever since. Oh sure, I missed some issues over the years – I had some rather big editorial conflicts that happened to get in the way. For example, at one time, I edited a muscle car magazine, and the owner of the publishing house really frowned upon us working for other pubs (naturally, I guess). He was clearly jealous because he, too, had a Corvette-based magazine, and it just could not match the circulation nor the appeal of little Vette Vues. Because of that, I became “The Road Agent” in Vette Vues. Few people figured out who The Road Agent really was.For me, it’s been a truly interesting trip. Today, I’m a grizzled veteran of the publishing game. I’ve worked for all sorts of bigger, flashier magazines – many of which don’t even exist today. It just goes to show what a great little publication Vettes Vues really is. And thanks to the Wolf family, I’m pretty sure we’ll all be able to enjoy it for many years to come. Ride on Vette Vues, Ride On!
From Bob Cook, Contributor: I subscribed to Vette Vues in the early ’70s. It was “THE” Corvette magazine for those of us in the hobby. In fact, after subscribing, I ordered all of the back issues that were available, so I have a pretty complete library of Vette Vues magazines. I did not know Jim Prather well, but in the mid-1980s (when we were living in Augusta, Georgia), my friend took his Corvette to a show in Atlanta. Jim Prather told him that a Datsun (not Nissan in those days) dealer in Valdosta, GA had one of the original Grand Sports in his shop and that it might be for sale. We called and were told he had been offered $150,000 for it, so we would need to offer more. That was a lot of money in the mid-’80s. The car was subsequently sold – I don’t know for how much, but it was rumored that the buyers sold it eight months later for $800,000. The car is now in the Simeone Museum.
Eight or ten years ago, I was asked by our NCRS Delaware Valley Chapter event chairperson to send photos of the cars in the NCRS Gallery at Corvettes at Carlisle to Vette Vues, which I did. The next year I was asked to send the Gallery photos plus photos of the cars in our Run for the Ribbons show. And then I added writing an article with photos for the Bloomington Gold show – and then Corvettes at Amelia Island – and then the Corvettes at Carlisle show. In all of these, I have enjoyed working with Bonnie and Bill Wolf. They produce a great magazine and have become friends of mine.
From Kenneth W. Kayser: Shortly after GM canceled my 1975 Corvette convertible company car, I bought a very nice 1957 Corvette street racer in Culver City, California. At the time, I did not know that my Chevrolet Tonawanda co-worker Bob Nash owned his father George Nash’s 1958 Corvette.
Bob drove the ’58 Corvette into work one day and introduced me to “Vette Vues” by giving me three or four recent 1975 issues he had in the engineering office, namely to search for parts.
A couple of years later, it was my turn to become a maintenance supervisor on the afternoon shift, and I began my own “Vette Vues” subscription when my initial research quest revealed that my ’57 Vette was one of the dozen early RPO-579 Fuel Injection “Pilot” Corvettes and one of two shipped to Chevrolet’s Los Angeles, California Assembly Plant as Fuel Injection Company Executive Cars.By 1990 more and more GM and Chevrolet fuel injection research had amassed into a fascinating “Top-Secret” Ed Cole and Zora Arkus-Duntov story. I offered to write a four-year, sixteen-issue chronological “GM Ramjet Fuel Injection” story starting in 1952 through 1957 for the NCRS Magazine, and the project was promptly declined.
I called Vette Vues editor and publisher James “Jim” Prather out of the blue to ask if he was interested in a four-year, forty-eight-issue series, and he jumped at the opportunity. We named the series; Chevrolet Ramjet Fuel Injection 40-Years Ago Today.
It’s hard to believe that thirty years of contributing to Vette Vues Magazine has gone by. It’s been a great run thanks to Bonnie and William Wolf’s acquisition and continuation of Jim Prather’s visionary fledgling publication.
A Most Happy Golden Anniversary Wish to Vette Vues One & All!
I’m looking forward to many more great years of Vette Vues Magazine.
From K. Scott Teeters: This is my 10th year of being a contributor to Vette Vues. The magazine has come a long way and outlasted many high-profile competitors. When you are enjoying your latest copy of Vette Vues, keep in mind that the first issues were produced on a mimeograph machine! (You might have to search engine that one!) It has been a pleasure to work with Bonnie, Bill, and Billy on nearly 250 stories. Thanks everyone, the pleasure has been mine.
Corvettes at Carlisle is my favorite Corvette car show (I bought my first Corvette there in 1986) and Vette Vues is my favorite Corvette magazine! Vette Vues and Autoweek, which doesn’t even have a print edition anymore, are the only two car magazines I still subscribe to. I’ve been a subscriber for probably 35 years. Stephen Fogt
Jim Prather…..Easy to describe…..Always friendly and willing to help. Met Jim a few times at different Corvette shows and he was always friendly and would help with questions I had. I even called Jim a few times with questions about toys that were featured in Vette Vues “Model Scene” and he was exactly the same…..willing to help.This is a big part of why Vette Vues has been successful for fifty years. Jim Prather is just a “Good Guy”. Hope Vette Vues continues for another fifty years. Thanks Jim for all you have done. George Biederman